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Loader-Mounted Mower Deck Spins On A Dime
J. Edwin Shirk turned a big mower deck into a zero-turn rough-cut mower by mounting it on skid steer loader arms. He likes the visibility and flexibility it gives him when using it in thick brush.
"We have a stream where sumac and other brush grows thick," says Shirk. "I can drive up to the brush and lower the ęBush Hog' over the top of it, shredding it to the ground without getting too close to the water."
His only concern is keeping the mower at an angle so chips don't fly back at the operator. "You have to keep it tilted so you never see the blade," he says. "Other than that, I can tip it at any angle and run it. It works really well for cleaning up around fence lines."
Shirk welded 3-point mounts to a steel plate with quick-tach mounts. Instead of a variable length top link, he used steel plate. To adjust the angle or height of the deck, Shirk simply tips the loader arm plate. Not modifying the mower means it can easily be returned to a traditional rear mount on a tractor.
To drive the pto-powered mower, Shirk mounted a hydraulic motor to the quick-tach faceplate. He used one that runs 600 rpm's on the skid steer's 12 gpm hydraulics. This allows him to reach 540 rpm's without keeping the engine revved up.
"You need to match the capacity of the motor to the hydraulics of the skid steer," he says.
The only modification he made to the hydraulics was to install a check valve between the two hoses. This accomplished two things. He can't run the motor backwards by switching flow, and the mower doesn't stop suddenly when the flow is cut off.
"With the check valve, the oil simply circulates through the motor until the mower blades stop spinning," says Shirk. "You just need to be sure the arrow on the check valve is pointed toward the high pressure hose to get the circulation correct."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, J. Edwin Shirk, 796 Grist Mill Rd., Ephrata, Penn. 17522 (ph 717 445-4678).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #2